I’m reading a new book which explained, in a getting-everyone-up-to-speed way, about the Big Five in the psychology of personality, so I looked it up. In fact, I took a test recommended by the book.

Here are my results:

Closed-MindedOpen to New Experiences
Calm / RelaxedNervous / High-Strung

I expected to see that I am open-minded, conscientious, agreeable, and calm. I didn’t expect to see myself in the middle on introvert/extrovert.

Maybe it’s because the questions on the test asked about things like being talkative or being in a position of leadership. I’m in a position of leadership in most groups I’m in… but maybe that’s because as an introvert I’m in few groups.

Or maybe my efforts at being more sociable and positive about grtoup endeavors over the past few years have been successful.


High scorers tend to be original, creative, curious, complex; Low scorers tend to be conventional, down to earth, narrow interests, uncreative.
You enjoy having novel experiences and seeing things in new ways.     (Your percentile: 98)
High scorers tend to be reliable, well-organized, self-disciplined, careful; Low scorers tend to be disorganized, undependable, negligent.
You are very well-organized, and can be relied upon.     (Your percentile: 83)
High scorers tend to be sociable, friendly, fun loving, talkative; Low scorers tend to be introverted, reserved, inhibited, quiet.
You are neither particularly social or reserved.     (Your percentile: 47)
High scorers tend to be good natured, sympathetic, forgiving, courteous; Low scorers tend to be critical, rude, harsh, callous.
You are good-natured, courteous, and supportive.     (Your percentile: 98)
Negative Emotionality
High scorers tend to be nervous, high-strung, insecure, worrying; Low scorers tend to be calm, relaxed, secure, hardy.
You probably remain calm, even in tense situations.     (Your percentile: 5)

What is the “Big Five”?
Personality psychologists are interested in what differentiates one person from another and why we behave the way that we do. Personality research, like any science, relies on quantifiable concrete data which can be used to examine what people are like. This is where the Big Five plays an important role.The Big Five was originally derived in the 1970’s by two independent research teams — Paul Costa and Robert McCrae (at the National Institutes of Health), and Warren Norman (at the University of Michigan)/Lewis Goldberg (at the University of Oregon) — who took slightly different routes at arriving at the same results: most human personality traits can be boiled down to five broad dimensions of personality, regardless of language or culture. These five dimensions were derived by asking thousands of people hundreds of questions and then analyzing the data with a statistical procedure known as factor analysis. It is important to realize that the researchers did not set out to find five dimensions, but that five dimensions emerged from their analyses of the data. In scientific circles, the Big Five is now the most widely accepted and used model of personality (though of course many other systems are used in pop psychology and work contexts; e.g., the MBTI).
What do the scores tell me?
In order to provide you with a meaningful comparison, the scores you received have been converted to “percentile scores.” This means that your personality score can be directly compared to another group of people who have also taken this personality test. The percentile scores show you where you score on each personality dimension relative to other people, taking into account normal differences in gender and age.For example, your Extraversion percentile score is 47, which means that about 47 percent of the people in the comparison sample are less extraverted than you. In other words, you are neither introverted or extroverted as compared to them. Keep in mind that these percentile scores are relative to our particular sample of people. Thus, your percentile scores may differ if you were compared to another sample (e.g., elderly British people).

I went caroling this afternoon. I didn’t go on to dinner with the group, but I enjoyed caroling. We sang Christmas songs, not Advent songs. But we have time here for one more Advent song.

Today’s song: